Our diversity should be a rich source of enrichment for us. Unfortunately, the opposite seems to have occurred. Differences have become reasons to fight with each other, or to claim superiority and power. We divide ourselves along the lines of our differences, seeing ourselves as the center of all that is good and right, and everyone else as “the other.” At their deepest, these divisions are expressed as racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other rigid walls of hatred, discrimination, and fear. If we’re truly going to live at peace in our local and global communities, we need to get over these arbitrary divisions, and learn to live together in harmony.
Adapted from the Peace Book
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Think of a category of people who you experience as “the other.” Make a list of all the ways they are different from you. Now make another list of all the ways they are the same as or similar to you. What do you notice?
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
The Holy Spirit enables us to embrace everyone, to build communion in diversity, to unify differences without imposing a depersonalized uniformity.
The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too.